Malawian Social Labs Take Steps Towards Self-reliance

RootChange Rebooting Systems, Reimagining Projects

About the Authors Emas Potolani and Myson Jambo are Root Change’s Social Lab Field Managers and Malawi Ambassadors who served on the frontlines of a USAID-funded Local Works Initiative in Malawi. The purpose of the Social Lab is to test alternative approaches to supporting, sustaining and measuring locally owned and led development. The Social Labs were formed as a result …

Announcing the Community Independence Initiative: A Powerful Collaboration Between Mauricio Miller, Executive Director of CII and Root Change

RootChange Development Revolution, Rebooting Systems, Reimagining Projects, Rethinking Organizations

Together, Mauricio Miller, founder of the Family Independence Initiative (FII) and author of The Alternative, and Root Change are working to catalyze a movement called the Community Independence Initiative (CII). CII is a peer-driven change model that invests in the talents, strengths, and ingenuity of people living in low-income communities.  Earlier this year, we shared an exciting new effort to …

The Root Change “Pracademic” – What We’ve Learned from Bridging the Academic-Practitioner Divide in Partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI)

Rachel Dickinson Reimagining Projects

As an INGO whose staff works to design, implement, and iterate programs, projects, and initiatives around the world, by most accounts Root Change is a practitioner. But sometimes we dip our toes into the academic side of the international development field. This is evident in our mission to “question assumptions” and “think deeply” but tends to be our behind-the-scenes work. …

Rolling Out Locally-Led Feedback Across the Globe Using Virtual Learning & Knowledge Exchange

Alexis Banks Reimagining Projects

Is CI providing the help and support that you and other young people need most? To what extent do you think CI’s programs positively influence the future of your family? Is there someone you trust with whom you can safely discuss your personal problems?  These are just a few of the meaningful questions that Children International (CI) teams have begun …

Radical Change Calls for Radical Approaches

Dinah Sandoval Reimagining Projects

After years of the development sector waging the war on poverty and billions of dollars invested, nearly half of the global population still lives on $2.50 a day. Yes. Poverty is a complex and multifaceted issue. However, stereotyping people living in poverty as lazy and helpless is not only an inaccurate portrayal but also exacerbates the issue. Mauricio Miller, founder …

Is your work community-led?

Alexis Banks Development Revolution, Reimagining Projects, Rethinking Organizations

How can all of us in the social sector become more accountable to the communities we seek to serve? How can those of us on the outside, who act as funders, implementers, or intermediaries identify and support community-led approaches to change?  GlobalGiving, in partnership with Root Change and other members of the Movement for Community-Led Development, has been shepherding a …

Activities & Learning in the Social Labs Constituent Report–Designed By & For Malawian Changemakers

Alexis Banks Rebooting Systems, Reimagining Projects

Over the past two years, Root Change, Youth and Society (YAS), and Keystone Accountability have supported district level social labs in Mulanje and Rumphi, Malawi as part of the USAID Local Works program. As USAID-funded support for the social labs came to an end, we worked with the labs to craft a Constituent Report to showcase their activities, highlight the …

Becoming an Adaptive Learning Organization & Identifying the Tools to Help Get You There

Dinah Sandoval Reimagining Projects, Rethinking Organizations

The development sector increasingly recognizes the need for organizations to embrace adaptive management practices to achieve lasting change to address systemic and complex social issues. For those who are new to this methodology, “Adaptive rigour: bridging the art and science of adaptive management,” breaks down the concepts well.  However, finding the right tools, metrics, or signals to help inform adaptations …

Strengthening Voice and Social Accountability through Social Labs – An Interview with a Malawian Leader

Alexis Banks Rebooting Systems, Reimagining Projects

This post was originally published by the Global Partnership for Social Accountability on July 9, 2019. “We need the local people themselves to prescribe solutions to the problems they’re facing, and they must be able to lead in testing and implementing those solutions.” Charles Kajoloweka, Founder and Executive Director of Youth and Society (YAS) in Malawi. The importance of locally led development …

Key Lessons from Testing Non-Traditional Development Approaches in Malawi

RootChange Rebooting Systems, Reimagining Projects

This post was originally published on the CIVICUS blog on June 28, 2019. Real change happens when local communities are in the lead—leveraging their assets, ideas, and expertise to implement solutions to their own problems. Unfortunately, too often, development initiatives bypass local communities and local resources in designing and carrying out programmes. At Root Change, we aim to break this pattern …